An expected showdown became a showcase.
In a battle of top Metro Suburban Blue teams Friday at Riverside-Brookfield, visiting IC Catholic Prep used the passing of quarterback CJ West and the running of Kyle Franklin and Lazerick Eatman to romp 45-0.
West was 6-for-11 for 233 yards and three touchdowns passing. Franklin ran for 230 yards on 22 carries and Eatman 112 yards on 13 carries for IC (5-1, 2-0), which rolled up a 31-0 halftime lead and had a stunning 655 yards of total offense.
“I challenged them in the locker room that this is going to be one of the best teams they’ll face all year,” IC coach Bill Krefft said.“I felt we hadn’t been playing at our best, and our kids just responded.
“All week they were dialed in. They wanted to come in and show their best– we had been very inconsistent this year. That (R-B) is a very good football team we went up against, and our kids just jumped early and did some nice things.”
Nicely filling the void left at quarterback by an early-season injury to Luke Ricobene, West made big plays Friday. He threw first-half touchdowns of 71 yards to Sean Hipskind and 48 yards to Eatman, and his last snap of the night produced a 23-yard TD pass to Eatman to up the lead to 45-0 late in the third quarter.
Khalil Saunders, who had seen most of the snaps at quarterback since Ricobene was sidelined, also caught two passes for 59 yards.
“My line (Dylan Packer, Kemon Reese, Ryan Kenneally, Ricky Mysliwiec and David Vargas) and receivers were phenomenal,” said West, who threw two TDs in relief of Saunders in Week 5. “Our receivers got open deep, I just got them the ball and they made plays.
“It was kind of a tough change (when Ricobene was injured), but next man up has to do the job.”
Freshman running back Franklin entered the game in the second half, producing a 68-yard TD run in the third quarter and never slowing down.
“Tonight was an amazing night,” said Franklin, in his fourth game on varsity. “I have to give all the credit to my blockers, and I try to keep my feet going, always moving.
“Just working hard as a team always works for us.”
The IC defense also did its job, silencing the usual might of quarterback Hunter Hughes and the R-B offense.
“We played our base defense most of the night,” Krefft said, “let our kids play fast, do their jobs and not out-scheme people. They (R-B) have athletes, and that quarterback (Hughes) – you can’t say enough about him. He’s able to step up, create time and throw a good ball. In warmups he was slinging it, so we knew he was going to be a challenge for us.
“Our ends Packer and (Jack) Enright really contained him, our linebackers Khali (Saunders), Kemon and (Kevin) Cook all played well, Lazerick and Khalil at safeties, and Enright playing both ways (with a TD catch and aninterception) – our kids all did their jobs tonight.”
IC’s brilliant showing was a rare off night for the host Bulldogs. R-B had outscored its first five opponents of the year 179-53.
“We didn’t play what we consider indicative of Bulldog football,” R-B coach Brendan Curtin said. “But they (IC) are a great team. We’ll take something away from that and how to prepare for teams like that.
“We still have some tough teams coming up, and the whole deal is we can’t let R-B beat R-B. I feel that’s how we started the game. Several missed alignments, and all three phases (offense, defense, special teams) it just wasn’t a clean game for us.”
For IC, a big win isn’t producing big heads.
“We just have to take it one practice at a time and not look ahead,” West said.